Rorate Caeli

The Good Shepherd need not apply


Maximilien Bernard reports in the French blog Perepiscopus that the diocese of Besançon has announced the shuttered seminary of Notre-Dame de Consolation is in receivership and is up for rent. Two parties have made bids for the lease on the premises. One is the Institut du Bon Pasteur, which currently houses some forty seminarians in cramped quarters at Courtalain in the diocese of Chartres. The other is a Swiss association which advocates for reconciliation between Muslims and Jews.

Bishop André Lacrampe took the occasion of Holy Thursday to make known that the IBP would not be a desirable tenant for the former seminary. It should come as no surprise that in 2006, Mgr. Lacrampe took an official position against the creation of the IBP as well as the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

43 comments:

  1. Anonymous4:01 AM

    A similar instance happened years ago when Vincentian Fathers refused to sell their former seminary in North Hampton, PA to the FSSP. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia ended up with the buildings which were were then used for a "Spirituality Year" for the seminarians until it eventually went under. The FSSP ended up in Scranton, PA and then Nebraska as we all know. Now the Archdiocese has yet another "retreat center" on it's hands which is probably more of a financial drain than anything else.

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  2. Steve K.5:09 AM

    The smoke of Satan has entered the Church.

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  3. Few things make me as angry as these. Bishop Lacrampe is clearly not being a good bishop. How can you even consider giving a former seminary to a secular organization when there is a full seminary in good standing that actually needs it for what is was meant for in the first place?

    Checked him out on CatHie - turn out the poor people of Besançon will be stuck with him for another 7 years...

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  4. Anonymous6:38 AM

    A Swiss group wants to reconcile Muslims and Jews? That's hilarious! I suggest that Mgr. Lacrampe be given a special assignment by the Pope. He could be sent forth as a missionary to the Taliban. Armed with a copy of the Dutch Catechism and some Vatican II documents, he need have no fears. The Taliban would roast him if they ever realised that he was Catholic. But there's no chance of that.

    P.K.T.P.

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  5. Perp - episcopus? Sounds better than the original per-episcopus!

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  6. Anonymous7:34 AM

    The diocese of Besançon is a bit like Los Angeles but in a "rural" setting. Decades of liberal bishops and arch-progressive clergy have entirely ruined what was a stronghold of Catholicism in the East of France. Abp Lacrampe is just a litle Mahony going on with the systematic destruction.

    But the difference is : there is no Gomez in sight for Besançon and the appointments of Benedict XVI, with a handful of exceptions, have been utterly disappointing : more Trautman-like bishops for France.

    The infamous bishop of Evreux is a "Benedictine" appointment. For the so-called "restoration" under John Paul II, Paris was given to ... cardinal Vingt-Trois who is emulating more and more ... Mahony.
    Don't be surprised that a trad institute is banned from a great majority of FrenChurch dioceses - Besançon is one among a long list - when even being loyal to the post-conciliar Magisterium is actively fought - at best ignored - by ... a majority of FrenChurch chanceries.

    Alsaticus

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  7. One of the early Fathers said that few Bishops will get to heaven . . !

    One wonders why so many of today's Bishops seem to be determined to prove him right.

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  8. Will somebody please invite them over in the Philippines?

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  9. The French episcopate is anti-Catholic. This has been demonstrated repeatedly. They prefer the death of Catholicism in France than have a restoration of all things in Christ.

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  10. Bishop Ebacher of Gatineau-Hull turned the FSSP down when they wished to buy a Redemptorist monastery: "Mgr Ebacher croit qu'il y a une contradiction entre la mission de son diocèse et les rites pratiqués par la FSSP"
    (Journal Le Droit, 4 et 6 avl 98)

    http://www.missa.org/forum/showthread.php?917-Diocse-de-Gatineau-et-diocse-de-Lincoln

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  11. Anonymous11:50 AM

    The Devil clearly at play.

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  12. Oliver12:09 PM

    Proof that any traditional apostolate is not wanted and hardly fits in the conciliar church. They rely on a licence from Rome which is given with one hand and taken away with the other. And if you do that in today's climate you become the play thing of church politics which blights the success of your mission.

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  13. "Perp - episcopus? Sounds better than the original per-episcopus!"

    You have a point, dom Jeffry, but I felt it better to make a correction in the interest of journalistic accuracy. Thanks.

    Mornac

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  14. Anonymous1:15 PM

    And Bishops wonder why they are HATED and SCORNED....They are truly the ruin of the Church. I would be all for stripping them of their disciplinary powers and just let them pray...Figurehead Leaders..They use and abuse their powers in all the wrong ways..Scandal and abuse they will not touch, they cover, kicking out traditional Priests or removing them from Seminary adding to the lack of vocations they will do..Good Lord, they should be stopped in their tracks. True, they will have much to answer for in the "afterlife". They are all but bypassed by the faithful in every possible way anyways.For the few who are decent, we pray for you and hope you can influence your unruly, faith lacking, disobedient co-workers !

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  15. Reason number 5,623 why I remain with the Society of St. Pius X.

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  16. So much of this has to do with the relentlessly anthropocentric theology of these French clerics. But that in turn can't be separated from their political outlook, either. As Bishop Claude Dagens of Angouleme once said, “You can’t pretend that Archbishop Lefebvre’s break with the Church was only caused by the liturgy.”

    In their mind, creating more room for traditionalists (or anything which even seems more traditional) is to bring back Vichy or worse. Better, in their minds, to empty out all of France's churches than to risk that. And it seems they will get their wish.

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  17. It looks like this man has re-nailed the Corpus.

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  18. Gerald

    What will happen is that priests from the Philippines will help traditional French priests re-evangelise France alongside those from Africa. A good priest once said that to me many years ago when numbers of vocations began to fall significantly.

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  19. Angelo3:45 PM

    Letter of Saint Athanasius to His Flock

    May God console you! ... What saddens you ... is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way ...

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  20. "What will happen is that priests from the Philippines will help traditional French priests re-evangelise France alongside those from Africa."

    Well, not with LA-type liturgy (and even worse) fast spreading in the Philippines!

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  21. A couple of points:
    P.K.T.P., I want to say thank you for all your incisive comments over the years. A voice of sanity crying in the wilderness.
    To Una Voce:
    "Mgr Ebacher croit qu'il y a une contradiction entre la mission de son diocèse et les rites pratiqués par la FSSP"
    Well, there's something we can agree with him on!
    To PreVat2:
    How can anyone with a serious working knowledge of French Catholicism disagree with you? How many Anglo-Saxon critics of the SSPX have lived in France and seen the truly rotten fruits of a botched 'reform'? How many of them have seen the fine priests of the SSPX in action, getting on with the job?
    As Archbishop Lefebvre always used to say, 'We are not the Church; we are a small group of priests at the service of the Church'. The true spirit of the SSPX lies in that humility and that strength. Archbishop Lefebvre would never tolerate disrespect towards any priests, even if they were modernists. He absolutely radiated charity and gentleness, and it was a great privilege for me to have met him. It saddens me to see shrill voices all too willing to condemn the Pope or condemn the SSPX.
    Pray for our Holy Father, pray for Bishop Fellay!

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  22. This guy from Besançon, one more in "full communion"...

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  23. Anonymous5:30 PM

    What makes so many of the French Hierarchy opposed to all things Catholic is, I suspect, something which has a lot more to do with their civilian political stance (socialist/communist). I wonder how many of them will be forced to retire in the comming wave of paedophile scandal mongering which is hitting Europe as we speak.

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  24. Anonymous6:21 PM

    Has anyone thought that maybe this is part of a concerted effort to keep the SSPX away? If the SSPX sees enough of these abuses going around, these bishops may be thinking that the SSPX won't negotiate further with the Vatican.

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  25. -Well, not with LA-type liturgy (and even worse) fast spreading in the Philippines!-

    True. My parish has two SOLT Philipino priests and the liturgy is as disappointing as ever, with the added kick of having one priest who is clearly a modernist (speaks about getting women clergy, alters prayers, "serve one another" instead of "serve the lord", etc)

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  26. To Alsaticus and others here on the French situation.

    Having lived in France I know firsthand how miserably true this is.

    Worse I think than six other countries I have lived in ... Really especially bad.

    Still I am ignorant and seek understanding.

    Alsaticus when you write:

    "the appointments of Benedict XVI, with a handful of exceptions, have been utterly disappointing : more Trautman-like bishops for France."

    I burningly wish I understood WHY.

    Do you or anyone else here have either good insights into this or a really good link in English or French explaining the Benedictine appointments?

    If so I would be grateful.

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  27. Anonymous7:42 PM

    Now more than ever, there is no quicker way to go to hell than being a bishop.

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  28. "[The French Episcopte] prefer the death of Catholicism in France than have a restoration of all things in Christ."

    The amazing thing is that they have simultaneously succeeded marvelously and failed in epic proportions. They have succeeded in killing the modern church, to which their empty seminaries testify eloquently. Hooray for that! Well done, modernist Frog bishops!

    But they have failed to kill the true church in Holy France, which thrives among the FSSPX faithful, and will succeed and blossom under the IBP and eventually the ICK and FSSP as well. And for that, we may all say a hearty, "DEO GRATIAS!"

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  29. Ubi Caritas et Amor11:27 PM

    Is it not truly astounding that a bishop of Holy Mother Church, a successor of the Apostles, should take the opportunity of Maundy Thursday of all days to declare that the Good Shepherd is not welcome in his diocese. It is akin to the Apostles telling Our Blessed Lord that He was not welcome in the upper room.

    I checked the Code of Canon Law to see what is said about such circumstances when dealing with the acquisition and administration of goods. Perhaps I am grasping at straws but Can. 1273 states: "The Roman Pontiff, by virtue of his primacy of governance, is the supreme administrator and steward of all ecclesiatical goods."

    In these circumstances, can not an appeal be made to the Roman Pontiff to overturn the decision of the local ordinary? Perhaps the Roman Pontiff, the supreme administrator, can appoint an administrator to act on his behalf to ensure that the seminary is rented out to the IBP and put to proper use. This bully must be put firmly in his place. And where is the papal nuncio in all this?
    Also, is there not some Church law that covers gifts and donations? If a person or a family has donated goods or money towards the fabric (a chapel or an altar, perhaps) is not the local priest or ordinary obliged to contact the donor before disposing of the goods? This may apply here. Just a thought.

    It is quite clear that many of our shepherds have failed us miserably over the past 40 years or so, and perhaps one way that the laity can make their disgust known is to challenge every such rotten decison at every turn. If our bishops refuse to act in our best interests then the laity can justifiably use every means available to overturn such faith-destructive decisions.
    May I suggest that the IBP write to the Holy Father and ask him to appoint a mediator in this case. At the same time perhaps the members of the IBP could arrange a novena to Notre-Dame de Consolation, whose seminary they wish to rent. It may bring some consolation.

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  30. Roger said

    This is never popular here what I state but it is true - Pope Benedict XVI is not a traditionalist in the manner you think or expect. He is from the liberal tradition and as such he negotiates with tradition as one of his points of reference. He has many others including the man he esteems - Teillhard de Chardin and other similar perspectives.

    When one reads his works one is struck profoundly by his intellectual complexity. This is how his compass of the faith functions. However, for the observer there are manifest behaviours which are signal of the modernist approach - for example, his ecumenical & interreligious persuasion accompanied by actions demonstrative of philosophical heterogeneity.

    In his mind he sees continuity in the functions he carries out but these may also be construed as a complete break with the customary approach because they look as though are & because they do not match previous pre-conciliar papal behaviours. The two-forms-one-rite liturgical thesis is another conundrum for the continuity hypothesis. To him they are but to many of us they are not. Such a proposition is scarcely easy to swallow whole.

    His Motu Propriu on The Latin Mass of All Time while welcome in one sense as it dispelled finally the deceits of episcopal efforts to incarcerate The Holy Mass once and for all time, was only really meant as an act of clemency towards traditionalists. A true act of papal justice no doubt and laudable for that but certainly no personal indication that he was embarking on a liturgical crusade to restore what we have lost in an identical form and manner according to the pre-conciliar paradigm.

    He works with what he has because this is how he works. He thinks the way he does because he does not think any other way. He is not committed to a restoration of the traditional church many of us would prefer to see. He is for a restoration based on his own theoretical premises of continuity meaning "reforming" once more the NO liturgy and "reforming" the existing post-conciliar pastoral model which he insists has been deformed by extreme interpretations.

    Ultimately, it is sensible to anticipate that he would like to have the "two-forms-one-rite" hybridised into one form only according to the convergence principle mentioned above. Therefore, it is futile attempting to understand Benedict XVI as a traditionalist. Standing in his shoes for a moment based on his public actions and his written works we are before a much more intricately composed character & personality than that.

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  31. Anonymous12:46 AM

    Ubi Caritas, And, what then, when the Holy Father fails (again) to act in our best interests?

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  32. Louis E.1:22 AM

    As I understand it,the government of the French Republic has by concordat a voice in the selection of French Catholic bishops,inherited from the Catholic Kings (one of the things I think republics are inherently incapable of inheriting from monarchies).It may be politicians who demand a less Catholic breed of Catholic bishop.

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  33. The two bishops in this story are prime examples of those who need to be defrocked. I am outraged that they can get away with subverting the intentions of the Holy Father and remain with "canonical status and faculties" while those traditional priests and bishops of the FSSPX remain under some sort of "suspension" a divinis. It is the Upside-Down Church once again.

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  34. Roger said:

    "the appointments of Benedict XVI, with a handful of exceptions, have been utterly disappointing : more Trautman-like bishops for France."

    I burningly wish I understood WHY.


    I don't know how deeply the Pope has been involved in the episcopal appointment process in France in France - though I imagine he knows the lay of the land as well as anyone in the Vatican.

    But the problem is likely to be at least twofold. The first is - unlike the United States - the relative paucity of good priestly candidates to put on the ternas. He can only send them back for revision so many times. What few good priests France is generating seem to be funneled into the traditionalist orders, which account for something like over a quarter or more of new vocations now.

    The other is alluded to by Louis. Under the Briand-Cereti Agreement, France's interior and foreign ministries retain a certain veto over episcopal appointments, although I gather this is not used very often.

    Sadly, as difficult as the situation with the French episcopacy is, it's not the worst one in Europe His Holiness has to deal with.

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  35. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I agree with Alsaticus's analysis of the situation in appointments in France. I'm wondering why this Pope is doing this, however. He seems to be afraid of the French hierarchy.

    After "Summorum Pontificum", the French Episcopal Conference simply decided not to allow any new sites for Latin Masses. There has been an increase in Masses in dioceses which already had them, but there has been almost no increase in new dioceses obtaining Latin Masses. In fact, in France, there has been almost no progress since July of 2007. We cannot count the Diocese of Metz, which got its every-Sunday T.L.M. just before S.P. The only additions in two years are the Dioceses of Blois, Limoges and Bayonne. The only consolation is that most French dioceses had Latin Masses every Sunday before S.P. was published.

    Meanwhile, there has been a huge increase in dioceses in Germany; a large one in England, Poland, and in the U.S.A.; a moderate one in Italy, Spain, Brazil, Ireland and New Zealand; and small increases in the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Austira, Hungary, Switzerland, Slovenia, Sweden, South Africa and Australia. We seem to be going backwards in the Philippines and going nowhere in the rest of Asia and the rest of Africa.

    Clearly, more is needed. An official and public admission that Society Masses fulfil the obligation would help because there are canonists who deny this. A clarification of "Summorum Pontificum" and, especially, of its very first Article, might also help.

    P.K.T.P.

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  36. Anonymous4:21 PM

    "A similar instance happened years ago when Vincentian Fathers refused to sell their former seminary in North Hampton, PA to the FSSP. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia ended up with the buildings which were were then used for a "Spirituality Year" for the seminarians until it eventually went under. The FSSP ended up in Scranton, PA and then Nebraska as we all know. Now the Archdiocese has yet another "retreat center" on it's hands which is probably more of a financial drain than anything else."

    If this were not so pathetic, it would be laughable. I am increasingly being convinced by these actions of Cardinals, Bishops, and priests as well as the liberal habitless nuns, that Satan is alive and wlel in the Roman Catholic Church...and using these people as his instruments to destroy the Church.

    Just look at the Catholic Church since Vatican II.
    Nearly all seminaries in France, G. Britian, Ireland (only 1 seminary left in Ireland), Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Austria,have been wiped out. Whole religious Orders have an average age of 76+, and though they might still have as many as 10,000+ members (Franciscans, Salesians, Jesuits), have a tremendous imbalance between the aged members (in some Orders, 90% of the membership), and those still able to work in apostolates.
    The Franciscan Order (OFM) looses 500+ members every year (Annuario Pontificio stats), and is now down to barely 14,000 members, with almost less than 10,000 priests remaining. They have lost 14,800 members since Vatican II and closed close to 1,000 of their monasteries!!!
    The Jesuits have less than 18,000 members (50% loss since Vatican II totals of 36,100). They are basically wiped out from most of their foundations in Western and Southern Europe, and in the USA and Canada.
    The Trappists (once the authentic heirs to the rich monastic tradition of the Medieval Church and Cistercian history) are down to less than 2,000 monks...have an average age of 76, and are on the point of having to close nearly all of their monasteries in Europe due to a lack of vocations. Only abbies such as Mariawald in Germany which returned to the Tridentine Latin Mass and Catholic monastic traditions will flourish. They will be able to keep the Trappist tradition alove as the Order elsewhere dies out.
    It's a waste of time to speak of the MASSIVE destruction of Orders of nuns since Vatican II (down from 1.1 million before the Council, to 730,000 today.....a loss of over 300,000). Nearly all of the great Orders of nuns bought into the radical femminist spirit of Vatican II and have lost so many members that they are no longer viable and will be extinct in less than 10 years. They are geriatric Orders waiting to die. Nearly all USA nuns fit this catagory and will soon be either supressed by the Vatican after the inquiries into their corruption of life is completed, or they will die out on their own within 10 years.
    What has happened in France with regards to the Good Shepherd priests, and the FSSP with regards to the former Vincentian seminary in the USA can be duplicated 1,000x, and shows that Satan is alive and well, and his instrument for the destruction of the Church is Vatican II, it's "reforms", and those who support/implement them.

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  37. M. A.9:17 PM

    "They are geriatric Orders waiting to die. Nearly all USA nuns fit this catagory and will soon be either supressed by the Vatican after the inquiries into their corruption of life is completed, or..."
    ______________________________

    I do not for one minute believe there will be a suppression of any Order. We have impotent leadership in the Church. Sad, but true.

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  38. Anonymous said

    I recall writing & talking about the demise of religious orders and diocesan presbyters 10 years ago which were already a decade short of what you are rightly & graphically calling to our minds. I was accused of being an ignoramus and of talking rubbish & being "against the pope". It was impossible to get passed this naive "springtime" ideology. I did state, however, that time & some realistic publicity on the actual devastation in The Church generally would reveal everything.

    When one travels around France the Catholic eye can witness first hand the many crumbling empty churches & other ecclesiastical buildings that have lamentably lost their original inhabitants. Others, barely in use, smell very damp, neglected and underused.

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  39. Anonymous6:53 PM

    I am re-resubmitting a previous commentary, in case that it did not reach the blog.

    I agree wholly with LeonG about the complexity and sometimes perplexing intellect of BXVI. He is of course a modernist, by judging from his active involvement in VII as a periti. I have been re-reading the articles published by "sisinono" about the Council and the crop of modernism that dominated it, and its proponents, when I reached a paragraph that spoke of the disillusion of the various individuals about the consequences of VII, because they expected the "new theology" that proposes the evolution of dogma according to the historical situation, which is nonsense of course, because if dogma changes, what is now accepted as truth is going to be discarded subsequently and so there is no basis for belief. Likewise with the "new philosophy" that abandons the principles of basic reason, a God given faculty, and sometimes admits contradictory thinking, as they see fitting. They of course imagined a scenario that would "renew" the Church, and they rapidly found out that such “springtime” was unfounded. Some of them were taken by surprise by the aberrations that arose among their followers. I wonder if they expected anything different when you release every restrain in Christian thought, and foment a spirit of novelty. The only exception to this disillusion seemed to be JPII that died 40 years after the Council and still thought that it had revived the Church. BXVI similarly still expects for the Council to bear fruit, 45 years after it ended. Going back at my re-reading of "sisinono" series of articles titled "They think they've won", I could not help but to think what a waste of time for these philosophers and clerics, to dedicate their lives to dabble in philosophical and theological intricacies instead of dedicating their minds to tendering the flock that they were supposed to take care of. This reminds me of the "Imitation of Christ" that asks what serves a man to be very learned in the afterlife without good works. I also would like to add, that VII is practically useless to a great majority of Catholics. I think that close to 99% of them have not read its documents. I have only perused them over in the most contentious passages, but have been turned off from reading those in full on account of its pompous and sometimes naive language. "Gaudium and Spes" is an outstanding example of the naivete of the Fathers of the Council, that seem bewildered by the discoveries of science and technology and they heap adulations upon the greatness of "Man" at the expense of the cult due to God. I am sometimes dumbstruck to learn that these mature bishops could act so childishly. In summary it dawns on me that the likes of Maurice Blondel, Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, etc., who were very talented undoubtedly, wasted their wits and their life in sterile philosophical and theological sleight of hand, when they could have produced abundant fruit in the pastoral and clerical realm.

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  40. Anonymous12:27 AM

    Symeon said...
    Few things make me as angry as these. Bishop Lacrampe is clearly not being a good bishop. How can you even consider giving a former seminary to a secular organization when there is a full seminary in good standing that actually needs it for what is was meant for in the first place?

    Checked him out on CatHie - turn out the poor people of Besançon will be stuck with him for another 7 years...


    What a pity for the dozen or so people in his diocese who still go to Mass.

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  41. Anonymous1:41 AM

    Anon 18:53, Thank you for your post. I benefited greatly from having read it. It is as succinct an appraisal of the situation as I have ever seen. I will certainly pass it on to those who do not yet fully appreciate the misapprehension of their "leaders".

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  42. Anonymous1:51 AM

    More fruit of Vatican II: http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=101488 Fargo Diocese will close Cardinal Muench Seminary.

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  43. Anonymous10:22 PM

    To Anon 01:41
    Thank you for your appreciation.
    Anon 18:53

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